Jun 16, 2023

Stz’uminus artist John Marston fabricating ‘Welcome to Ladysmith’ signs

Ladysmith, BC – June 16, 2023 – The Town of Ladysmith is excited to be working together with Stz’uminus artist John Marston (Qap’u’luq) on a pair of new ‘Welcome to Ladysmith’ signs at the gateways to the community.

A widely-renowned carver based locally in Chemainus, Marston’s most recent work includes the impressive 14-foot Welcome Figure and cedar weave in the Ladysmith Secondary School foyer – both completed in cooperation with students enrolled in the Land and Language Based Learning program. 

The new ‘Welcome to Ladysmith’ signs will be located near Grouhel Road and Baker Road – the latter of which is set against the scenic backdrop of Ladysmith Harbour.  

The Town gratefully acknowledges the receipt of Douglas Fir timbers donated by Western Forest Products for the completion of the new greeting signs.

“It has been an honour for me to work on these welcoming signs for our community. I’ve been surrounded by friends and family as these projects move forward,” said Marston. “I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in the process and supported the development of these welcome signs. This is an exciting artistic symbol of a warm welcome to Ladysmith and traditional Stz’uminus territory.”

Ladysmith Council’s newly adopted 2023-2026 Strategic Plan continues to be guided by the spirit and intent of reconciliation.  The signs honour this commitment by including a traditional territorial acknowledgment.

“Having the opportunity to work with John Marston on such an important welcome to our community and in recognition and respect of our place within unceded Stz’uminus territory is an honour.  We are grateful for his willingness to lead this project for us and to ensure that the signs celebrate the rich history of this beautiful place we share,” said Mayor Stone. “We are also thankful to Western Forest Products for their donation of the timbers which will reflect the deep respect for our forest, and forestry foundations of Ladysmith. All the elements and participants of this work will bring new significance to these signs and how we welcome people to our shared community.”

The project is funded by a Canada Community Revitalization Fund and is part of several upgrades to signage, including rebranded heritage artifact signs and new tourism kiosks to be installed in early fall.

“We would like to express our appreciation to Mayor Stone for giving Western the opportunity to participate in this important project in partnership with Stz'uminus artist John Marston and the Town of Ladysmith. We understand the importance of supporting local initiatives and providing lumber to the welcome sign project is a natural and meaningful way for Western to give back,” said Clayton Storey, General Manager of Manufacturing, Ladysmith and Saltair Divisions. “Our contribution is a reflection of Western’s ongoing commitment to supporting community initiatives, including those that showcase the rich stories and culture of Indigenous People. As a company deeply rooted in this community, we are honoured to play a part in welcoming people to the Town of Ladysmith.”

The concrete form work is now underway at the Baker Road site and the installation of the sign will occur in the coming weeks.

For the latest news and updates, visit the Town’s website at www.ladysmith.ca, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also receive up-to-date information in your email inbox by subscribing to the Town’s newsletter.


For Information:
Mike Gregory
Communications and Engagement Specialist